Capello lays down 'WAG' rules for World Cup

Mike McGrath,Pa
Thursday 10 September 2009 14:24

England boss Fabio Capello will allow 'WAGs' at the World Cup next year - but only for one day at a time after each match in South Africa.

The wives and girlfriends of players were a huge presence during the 2006 tournament in Germany, with Rio Ferdinand last season calling it a "circus" under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Click here or click the image to re-live the circus that was the 2006 World Cup.

Capello's regime has been strict but the Italian feels his players should see their loved ones for limited periods, as the planning towards the 2010 starts following the 5-1 victory over Croatia that sealed qualification.

"I like what we made here at training where the players stay together," Capello said. "When we are in South Africa the players need the wives, friends, the girls. One day after each game."

Capello, however, warned: "We are there to play, not for a holiday."

Capello, since starting in the job at the beginning of last year, has masterminded eight consecutive World Cup qualifying wins, with the focus now on who will board the plane to Africa.

With much of the squad already settled, there will be players fighting for places this season.

"We have to wait and I will choose the best players, those in the best moment of form," he said.

"This will be important. Someone who is injured now is (Owen) Hargreaves, one man. I don't know if he will be ready."

The WAGs' presence - which has been seen by some as the reason for underachievement in 2006 and failure to qualify for Euro 2008 - was part of a culture where England's superstars were expected to bring success.

Capello is now trying to play down any talk of winning the trophy, although he feels his side can beat any country on their day.

"We made the first step and we go to South Africa," he said. "But we have to work a lot because to win the World Cup would be a really strong moment.

"It's different when you stay at the World Cup because you have to win the first round and that is the worst moment of the tournament.

"We have a good team and are playing very well but we have to stay with our feet on the floor.

"I always said that we are a really good team. Our players are really good players and the confidence we have now has improved a lot.

"For this reason we can play against the best teams in the world and I think we can win the game."

Capello believes his players are now replicating their club form and feels they are confident at home again - silencing the jeers that used to accompany them.

"I did not understand why the same players were not the same for the national team as they were for their clubs," he said.

"For this reason I prepared the psychology for that. They changed completely. The first step was when we won in Croatia.

"The confidence immediately went up but we always played well away, not at Wembley. The problem was Wembley. Also now we are playing well at Wembley."

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